SWEDEN ROCK 2013

July 12th, 2013
by Marko Syrjala

SWEDEN ROCK 2013


FRIDAY

 

FIREWIND

Gus G is obviously known widely better than the band he fronts for obvious reasons. However, a lot of people had arrived to enjoy the solid sounding metal with obvious hard rock elements. The band sounded strong and skilled. Firewind is surrounded by Gus G’s character, leaving the current stand-by singer Kelly Carpenter to handle his job in the background as well as other members of the band focusing on the playing. As stated the band offered a nice and solid enjoyable set with high quality touch and grip.

Wall of Sound
Head Up High
Destination Forever
Few Against Many
World on Fire
The Fire and the Fury
Till the End of Time
Losing My Mind
Mercenary Man
Maniac (Michael Sembello cover)
Falling to Pieces

Firewind

Firewind

Firewind

Gus G – Firewind

Firewind

Gus G – Firewind

Firewind

Firewind

NEWSTED

The former Metallica/Voivod/Flotsam And Jetsam bassist Jason Newsted returned to the limelight with a band carrying his name. The material on the Ep sounds extremely promising, therefore witnessing Newsted on the stage was an obligatory task. Of course, it was odd to listen for songs never heard before, except for the songs on the EP. Above all, the fast ones sounded promising good such as “Soldierhead”. As for songs with more mid-tempo and slower pace, they didn’t sound that astonishing, rather quite boring. As for the band in general, Newsted himself appeared to be extremely restless and wild, like a lion released from a cage. Whereas the rest of the guys moved a little bit less. The whole” Metal” thing started being a little bit absurd and corny, as it was repeated by Newsted more than often during the set. To sum up, the Newsted band handled the gig in a positive way, but there is still work to do to improve the stage performance.

Ampossible
Heroic Dose
Soldierhead
Skyscraper
…As the Crow Flies
Nocturnus
Long Time Dead
King of the Underdogs
Twisted Tale of the Comet
Godsnake
Whiplash
(We Are) the Road Crew

Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted

Newsted

Newsted

Jason Newsted

Jason Newsted

Newsted

Newsted

ASIA

Asia is one of the long lasting AOR/progressive rock bands, being kind of super group, consisting of well-known musicians from bands like Yes, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and ELP. The band had its commercial peak in the early 80’s and songs like “Heat of the Moment” and “Don’t Cry” are classics of the AOR genre. The band has gone through several line-up changes during its over 30 year career.  The last one to leave was guitarist Steve Howe, who decided to concentrate only on Yes in the future, and he was now replaced by young Sam Coulson. Other than Coulson the current Asia line-up is the classic/original one including vocalist/bassist John Wetton, drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Geoff Downes. The band released its latest album XXX the last year and currently they’re working on its successor titled VALKYRIA which should be released in the end of the year. As expected the band now leaned mostly on their early material on live situation. “Only Time Will Tell” and “Wildest Dreams”, both from bands classic debut album, opened the game. Good-humored Wetton appeared relaxed and loose and he was visibly enjoying being on stage. The man is aged well over 60 years and was at times a bit amusing to watch him and Coulson on the same stage while the latter is barely 20 years old. Couldn’t help the feeling that at times it was like son and his grandfather on stage. However, despite his young age, a guy played very well and clearly it showed that Asia has probably been a young man’s favorite band for a long time. It was also a pleasure to watch Carl Palmer’s playing. The man is one the best and most respected drummers in the world and it’s hard to say which one was better in Swedenrock, either it was him or Neil Peart from Rush? All in all, Asia was totally acceptable today but in a long run it was a bit dull. Can’t help of thinking that maybe this type of outdoor festival is not the best possible place for this kind of band and music?

Only Time Will Tell
Wildest Dreams
Don’t Cry
Face on the Bridge
An Extraordinary Life
Open Your Eyes
The Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Time Again
Go
Holy War
Sole Survivor
Heat of the Moment

Sam Coulson and John Wetton

Sam Coulson and John Wetton

Carl Palmer

Carl Palmer

Geoff Downes

Geoff Downes

John Wetton

John Wetton

Sam Coulson

Sam Coulson

Carl Palmer

Carl Palmer

AMARANTHE

The current flourishing dance metal sensation pulled a massive crowd around the fourth stage. Frankly, placing them to play on the fourth stage was a mistake as the Swedish dancemetallers could have easily pulled a way bigger audience. Amaranthe made the audience spin their hips and of course some drunk ones kept drooling thru the whole gig when Elize Ryd, with hot clothes, waved her well trained butt. Amaranthe’s music is a bit dull and fashionable for us anyway.

Amaranthe

Amaranthe

Amaranthe

Amaranthe

DORO

The German Metal Queen Doro and her band have always been a great live act and this time was no exception. The band took over the stage and the audience right from the start with “I Rule the Ruins” and “Burning the Witches”. It was great to also notice that the newer material from her latest album RAISE YOUR FIST received really good reception. Especially the title track and emotional “Hero”, dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio, worked out great and those are clearly future Doro classics. It’s great to see that although Doro Pesch has been doing her career continuously for nearly 30 years, she is still going on strong. She still looks and sounds great and there are no sights of saturation or tiredness, on the contrary, she continues to give her everything on stage every night and that’s what will keep her in business for years to come.

I Rule the Ruins
Burning the Witches
Rock Till Death
The Night of the Warlock
Metal Racer
True as Steel
Raise Your Fist in the Air
Für Immer
Hero
Breaking the Law
Revenge
All We Are
Earthshaker Rock
Burn It Up
Metal Tango

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro

Doro and Nick Douglas

Doro and Nick Douglas

AT THE GATES

Back in 2008, At The Gates was supposed to do a few selected gigs here and there, but the one off gig reunion has expanded a bit larger and longer than expected. There is no new album in sight, so this can be seen as some kind of nostalgia trip back to the early and mid 90’s? What can be said? ATG is still tight and a pure kill-machine as before with catchy songs and deadly riffs, both the Bjorler twin bros were in fine form, as was Tompa Lindberg. At The Gates’ songs are timeless and sound exactly refreshingly catchy as they did app. 20 years ago without loosing any edge.

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

At The Gates

UFO

British hard rock pioneers UFO have been regular visitors to Sweden Rock during the past 10 years and at least twice they have had problems with weather. In other words, it was raining like hell, but this time UFO was a “victim” of something completely different… Even though the guitarist Vinnie Moore did his very best to save the situation, he couldn’t fix the fact that vocalist Phil Mogg was now way too drunk. Because of Mr. Mogg’s questionable condition, the whole show was sloppy and very boring to follow. The band’s set was shortened to only 12 songs, and perhaps that was a good thing to do. The band just played through the usual hits from the 70’s and a few tracks from the latest SEVEN DEADLY and that was about it. Unfortunately, UFO was one of the biggest disappointments at this year’s festival.

Lights Out
Mother Mary
Fight Night
Wonderland
Cherry
Let It Roll
Burn Your House Down
Only You Can Rock Me
Love to Love
Rock Bottom
Doctor Doctor
Shoot Shoot

Ufo

Vinnie Moore and Phil Mogg

 

Ufo

Phil Mogg

Ufo

Vinnie Moore

Ufo

Ufo

KROKUS

Switzerland’s finest, Krokus has performed at Sweden Rock twice before, but this time they returned with the classic line-up of vocalist Marc Storace, bassist Chris von Rohr, guitarists Mark Kohler, Fernando von Arb, and Mandy Mayer. The band is now reinforced with a new drummer Flavio Mezzodi who just recently joined bands ranks and replaced Freddy Steady. The band released its latest album DIRTY DYNAMITE in early 2013 and it marks the bands return to their early 80’s albums style in the vein of such classics as HEADHUNTER, ONE VICE AT TIME or METAL-RENDEZ VOUS. Krokus opened the show with new tracks “Hallelujah Rock’n Roll” and “Go Baby Go” followed by the classic “Long Stick Goes Boom”. Vocalist Storace was in fine form. His voice was still as sharp as ever and the man ran across the big stage like the old days whereas the others stayed more or less in the one place throughout the show. To some extent, it was not clear why the band has three guitarists today. It seemed that Mayer played about 90% of lead and solo parts and the other two played mainly rhythm tracks. The set list was built upon the classic albums, of course, but the band also did play four songs off from the latest release. Definite highlights were the old hits “Bedside Radio”, “Heatstrokes” and “Tokyo Nights” but also “Hoodoo Woman” from bands re-union album HOODOO worked out extremely well. The set was closed a bit surprisingly with a cover version of old Bob Dylan song “Mighty Quinn” which was dedicated to late Gotthard singer Steve Lee. As a whole this Krokus show was entertaining. The band played tightly but perhaps the main stage, however, was a bit too big a place for the band.

Hallelujah Rock ‘n’ Roll
Go Baby Go
Long Stick Goes Boom
Better Than Sex
Winning Man
Dög Song
Fire
American Woman
Screaming In The Night 
Tokyo Nights
Easy Rocker
Bedside Radio
Heatstrokes
Hoodoo Woman
Eat the Rich
Mighty Quinn

Marc Storace

Marc Storace

Fernando von Arb

Fernando von Arb

Mark Kohler

Mark Kohler

Mandy Meyer

Mandy Meyer

Chris von Rohr

Chris von Rohr

Flavio Mezzodi

Flavio Mezzodi

Krokus 2013

Krokus 2013

SAXON

The original NWOBHM heroes Saxon performed at Sweden Rock for the umpteenth time but it seems that there’s still plenty of demand for the band according to the huge number of audience which completely filled the front and the surrounding field of Rock Stage!  Saxon opened up with a pair of songs from their latest SACRIFICE album followed by a string classics including “Power & Glory”, “Heavy Metal Thunder” and “Crusader”. Vocalist Biff Byford led the gang to his old familiar style and bassist Nibbs Carter ran access the stage like maniac so in that sense nothing has changed but what was different was the entire stage setup which now included a drum riser, a new huge “Eagle” mascot (looked like the one Saxon had on Eagle Has Landed tour back in the day), a huge lightning system, and there was pyro and fire on stage. In other words, Saxon now had a proper stage show which looked amazing.  The band sounded really tight and the set list was well-built including songs from nine different Saxon albums including rarely performed “Conquistator” from METALHEAD. There are rumors flying that the band might quit or at least have some extended break after this tour is finished. In a way, it would be a shame because tonight proved that now the band has managed to rediscover its past in all its glory.

Sacrifice
Wheels of Terror
Power and the Glory
Heavy Metal Thunder
Made in Belfast
Crusader
And the Bands Played On
I’ve Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)
Conquistador
Solid Ball of Rock
Stand Up and Fight
Dallas 1 PM
747 (Strangers in the Night)
Strong Arm of the Law
Wheels of Steel
Denim and Leather
Princess of the Night

Saxon

Saxon

Saxon

Biff Byford

Doug Scarrat

Doug Scarrat

Saxon live 2013

Saxon live 2013

HYPOCRISY

Led by Peter Tagntren, Hypocrisy sounded extremely vicious and brutal in the Swedish dark night. The four piece under the massive lights looked and sounded like a tight and well-trained death metal unit. There were no extra gimmicks on stage; instead the four guys kept banging their heads off with the ultimate neck-breaking passion. Unfortunately, there were but a handful of people watching the tight playing of Hypocrisy.  Well it is quite a common phenomenon at Sweden Rock as the middle aged audience ain’t that fond of this type of extreme metal.

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy

EUROPE

When Hypocrisy was molesting the fourth stage, meanwhile Sweden’s biggest selling hard rock band Europe was offering a solid hard rock set on the main stage. Seriously the band sounded truly rocking heavy with the early material like “Wings of Tomorrow” or “Scream of Anger”. But the newer stuff wasn’t bad either. Bluesy rocker “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues” and the heavy title track of bands comeback album START FROM THE DARK were highlights of the show. As this was the bands 30′th Anniversary show, there were a few quests on stage. Michael Schenker (UFO) and Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy / Black Star Riders) played one song each with the band… BUT(!!!) Those guests were not introduced properly as they kind slipped to the stage and then vanished from the stage without a big fuss. It must also be wondered why the band did not use this unique opportunity to invite former members Tony Reno or Kee Marcello to perform one last time with the band?! The band was playing tightly, a huge lighting system was looking really cool, and the set list was a nice and rocking heavy one but it’s a fact that couple of those “cheesy” songs from from the FINAL COUNTDOWN and above all, the same titled song didn’t fit to the set that well. The band should be brave enough and just drop that song off. But the audience always want to hear it, so that will not probably happen….ever… However, the band did play over two and and a half hours and the result can be seen on upcoming DVD which will be out at the end of the year.

Riches to Rags
Firebox
Not Supposed to Sing the Blues
Screams of Anger
Superstitious
No Stone Unturned
New Love in Town
In the Future to Come
Paradize Bay
Girl From Lebanon
Prisoners in Paradise
Always the Pretenders
Drink and a Smile
Open Your Heart
Love Is Not the Enemy
Sign of the Times
Start from the Dark
Wings of Tomorrow
Carrie
Jailbreak
Seven Doors Hotel
The Beast
Let the Good Times Rock
Lights Out
Rock the Night
Last Look at Eden
The Final Countdown

Joey Tempest

Joey Tempest

John Norum

John Norum

John Leven

John Leven

Ian Haugland

Ian Haugland

Joey Tempest

Joey Tempest

John Norum

John Norum

Tempest & Norum

Tempest & Norum

Mic Michael

Mic Michael

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